Feb 24, 2013

Engineering Dept. replaced by Planning and Zoning Dept.

BY RYAN BERRY 
MANAGING EDITOR 
GREENVILLE – Greenville City Council voted to eliminate the city’s engineer department and replace it with a Planning and Zoning Department at its Feb. 19 meeting. The ordinances passed by council were necessary as a result of the restructuring proposed in the 2013 Appropriations Ordinance.

During the discussions with the city’s appropriations, Mayor Michael Bowers pointed out the engineer’s office had primarily conducted business as a Planning & Zoning Department. Most of the engineering work was outsourced with only one or two projects engineered in house. With the resignation of Joy Rodenburgh as the city engineer, the administration felt it was time to proceed with restructuring the department. Bowers has appointed Chad Henry as the department head. Henry has been with the city for over five years and earned a degree in planning from Miami University. He has been the acting department head since the departure of Rodenburgh.

Council also heard from Jason Martoni, of Utility Sales Agency, Clayton. He questioned whether or not the city’s specifications for new water meters and installation would be too restrictive to allow all but one company to bid. Martoni was assured by Law Director Camille Baker that the Ohio Revised Code prohibits specifications from being too restrictive. Mayor Bowers noted the administration and water department are in the preliminary stages of writing the specifications, but would be willing to set up a meeting with the safety/service director, water department superintendent and Martoni to discuss the issue.

Council approved the Utility Committee’s report at the previous meeting of council giving the administration the green light to proceed with writing specifications and eventually opening the project up for bidding. Tracy Tryon, council member, expressed his concern that the administration was focusing on one brand of water meter and there are municipalities that have had problems with that meter in the past.

A representative from the Greenville City Schools is expected to present a request to council at the March 5 meeting. The school district is expected to ask for a portion of land that includes Harmon Field. Law Director Baker asked council members to submit any questions they may have regarding the issue to her so they can be addressed by the school district.

In other business, council:

* approved an ordinance to increase the number of street opening and reducing the amount of bond required in connection with the 2013 Vectren Energy Delivery Gas Lateral Replacement Project. More information on the project and roads affected by the project can be found on the city’s website – www.cityofgreenville.org.

* learned Trilogy is moving forward with its plans to build a nursing home and assisted living facility at the corner of Russ Road and KitchenAid Way. Plans have been submitted to the Planning and Zoning Department and the Planning and Zoning Commission will address the issue at its March meeting.

* learned Reid Hospital is also continuing with its plans to build a medical center in the city. The organization recently purchased the property at the corner of Meeker and Krukeberg Roads.

* learned the city will soon be submitted grants for Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), Small Cities, and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be March 5, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Municipal Building.

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